Backlit Iron Man Poster




About: My name is Calvin and I love to create things. I also enjoy filming and editing movies, playing games, watching movies (especially Marvel movies), and going for an occasional bike ride. Whether it is an app ...

Iron Man is one of the most iconic comic book super heroes of all time. He's has all the cool high-tech gadgets a hero could ask for including his suit, his Repulsor Beam, and various other high-tech equipment. So why not have a high-tech poster of him? Okay, its not really high-tech, but it does light up! This poster is great for any superhero fan! It it will definitely add some style to your room! Part of my inspiration for this project came from my love of Marvel Studios and some came from this cool "Superhero Backlit Canvas Art" tutorial. Overall, this poster is a fantastic way to showoff your love for superheroes or just to enjoy!

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Step 1: Supplies

To make this MARVELous poster you will need:

Black Vinyl

Stencil Vinyl with Transfer Tape (or you can use black if you have enough like I did)

Transfer Tape (if you chose not to get the stencil vinyl that comes with some)

A Silhouette Machine

A 11in x 14in Canvas

Pastel Yellow Spray Paint

Dark Red Spray Paint

An X-ACTO Knife


A Ruler

A Squeegee

A Glue Stick

A Sheet of White Printer Paper - not shown in photo

Velcro - not shown in photo

Scrap Wood (used under the canvas for support when cutting) - not shown in photo

LED Larry Light by Nebo - not shown in photo

Step 2: Spray Painting

Start off by spray painting the top of your canvas red. Don't worry about the edges, we'll get back to that! This will make a mess though, so you may want to do this outside on some cardboard or newspaper. I did mine in my backyard on a large piece of cardboard.

Step 3: Making the Stencils

The paint is gonna take a while to dry, so while you are waiting you can go ahead and get started on making the stencils. For this step you will need the stencil vinyl, but any other kind that you may have a lot of will also work. Now cut a 7in. x 12in. piece of vinyl and place it onto your Silhouette Machine's cutting mat. Feed the mat into your machine and have it cut out the "Iron Man Silhouette" file from this step. Don't forget to adjust the machine's material settings to "Vinyl"! Once the machine has finished, you will need to peel off the unwanted parts. Refer to the photo to see what is needed and what's not.

Repeat the above for the "Iron Man Text" file using a 2.5in. x 12in. piece of vinyl.

Step 4: Applying the Stencils

Now its time to apply the transfer paper! Cut a piece of transfer paper big enough to cover the entire Iron Man silhouette and place it directly on top of the image. Gently use a squeegee to remove any air bubbles. Before proceeding, make sure your canvas is dry and ready to be worked on. Then, peel off the transfer paper making sure the vinyl comes with it and put it directly onto the canvas. Using a squeegee requires applying some pressure, so you may want to put something under the canvas as you do this like the scrap wood you are going to use later on for cutting. Do this slowly and gently. Once the Iron Man decal is on securely, remove the transfer paper leaving the decal on the canvas.

Repeat the above for the Iron Man Text.

Step 5: More Spray Painting

Now that your stencils are on and ready to go, it's time to spray paint! Take your canvas outside and place it on the cardboard/newspaper you used previously. You are going to spray the entire canvas yellow including the edges this time. Make sure to coat it well. Then wait 4-6 hours for it dry. After it has dried you can remove the vinyl slowly and gently.

Step 6: Cutting

Before you start cutting you will need to get a piece of black vinyl big enough to fit in the back of the canvas. Once you have cut a piece the right size, peel the backing off and stick the vinyl to the back of the canvas. Use your squeegee to make it as smooth as possible. This makes it so that less light will shine through the canvas.

Now place your scrap wood under the canvas and begin cutting out the yellow shapes on Iron Man's Repulsor Beam with an X-ACTO knife. Don't forget to cut out his eyes.

Step 7: Finishing

Take your sheet of white printer paper and trim it down to about 8.5in x 5in so it nicely covers the holes you just cut. Then use your glue stick to rub glue over the back of the canvas. You only need to put glue around the holes. Now that it's sticky, take your piece of paper and stick it the back of the canvas so it completely covers the holes. To make it light up, use some velcro to stick your strip of LEDs to the inside of the canvas. Make sure you can easily access the on/off button.

Ta-da! You're done! Now all you have to do is find a nice place to hang it up!

Halloween Decor Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Decor Contest

DIY University Contest

Participated in the
DIY University Contest

Superheroes and Supervillains Contest

Participated in the
Superheroes and Supervillains Contest

2 People Made This Project!


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18 Discussions


3 years ago

Hi, really awesome project that I really want to do, can this project be done without getting a vinyl machine? I don't really have 200$ just for that.. :)


4 years ago

Great instructable, I have made a batman one. Just need to attach the light.

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Thanks! I apologize for the delayed response, I wasn't notified via email of your comment and just realized it was here. Anyway, I attached the silhouettes in PNG format for you as requested. Enjoy!


4 years ago on Introduction

It came out great!! It's a bummer you just missed the Make it Glow contest though... :-( But still, awesome Instructable! :-)

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Thanks nodcah! It may not be in the Make it Glow contest but it is in the Heroes and Villains contest, so feel free to vote for me!


5 years ago on Introduction

Thats very cool and unique ... i'l try to make a simular one but with other kind of paint ... And maby upgrade the lights. If you want to see the result when im done give a feedback . If you dont want to spread your (skype, facebook, E-Mail) mine are:

Skype: sgg_123

Facebook: Dimitur Mihalev



5 years ago

I'm curious as to where you found the files to do this? I would like to make this, and many other superheroes for my son's room & would like for all the art to be the same "style".

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I actually found the silhouette on Google... but I'll send you a P.M. with some other silhouettes if that helps!


5 years ago

Super! Very cool idea and technique that could be useful for other stuff as well!

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it! This technique could definitely be applied in many other creative ways!